Sikh Nationalism and Identity in a Global Age

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Routledge, 2008 - History - 198 pages

Sikh Nationalism and Identity in a Global Ageexamines the construction of a Sikh national identity in post-colonial India and the diaspora and explores the reasons for the failure of the movement for an independent Sikh state: Khalistan. Based on a decade of research, it is argued that the failure of the movement to bring about a sovereign, Sikh state should not be interpreted as resulting from the weakness of the ‘communal’ ties which bind members of the Sikh ‘nation’ together, but points to the transformation of national identity under conditions of globalization. Globalization is perceived to have severed the link between nation and state and, through the proliferation and development of Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs), has facilitated the articulation of atransnational‘diasporic’ Sikh identity. It is argued that this ‘diasporic’ identity potentially challenges the conventional narratives of international relations and makes the imagination of a post-Westphalian community possible.  Theoretically innovative and interdisciplinary in approach, it will be primarily of interest to students of South Asian studies, political science and international relations, as well as to many others trying to come to terms with the continued importance of religious and cultural identities in times of rapid political, economic, social and cultural change.

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The writer has researched all streams of current research focussed on Sikhs and Sikhism, for writing this book. He presents the positives and negatives of various arguments employed by the scholars working in the Western as well as Indian academia. The writer conclusively discredits Harjot Oberoi's approach. The writer is also very clear about Sikhism's distinction from Hinduism & Islam (in the introduction to section titled "The Sikh Panth: From Nanak-Panth to Khalsa Panth" -- I must add that I only read that part of this section which is available in the Google preview).
I think overall, based on my reading of sections available in Google Preview, this book seems a very good effort at understanding the issues of Sikh identity and the events of 1980s and 1990s in Punjab.
 

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About the author (2008)

Giorgio Shani is Associate Professor of Politics and International Relations at the International Christian University, Japan. He is co-editor of Protecting Human Security in a Post 9/11 World (2007), and has published widely in leading academic journals including International Studies Review, The Cambridge Review of International Affairs, South Asia Research and Studies in Ethnicity and Nationalism.

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